Forget about the price of petrol and sugar by walking more and eating less. Put on your gardening gloves and grow a waterwise garden or some spinach. When we live simple lives, we are happier and healthier – and so is our environment” (Chat e-newsletter, January 2017).

Gardenening enthusiasts will tell you that pretty pots and containers for your garden cost a packet. But veggies don’t mind whether their container is fancy. Convert old items you don’t have any use for any longer into plant containers. Old shoes, tins, glass bottles and plastic soft drink bottles of all shapes and sizes can be painted to serve as containers for smaller plants. These can be attached to a wall to make a vertical or horizontal garden. An old tractor tyre, filled with garden soil and painted in a light colour to prevent it from getting too hot in summer, will be an ideal container for bigger plants. It is therapeutic to create your own food garden – what joy to watch your own seedlings grow! Some useful tips:

Save water – install a water tank in your garden.

Plant lucerne or spinach to combat weeds. It also prevents erosion and protects plants from heat and the sun. Garlic plants will keep insects away from spinach and tomatoes – it does, however, inhibit the growth of beans and peas.

Plant legumes such as peas and beans to increase the nitrogen content of the soil.

Broken egg shells are a good source of calcium and keep snails away – especially useful when sprinkled around cauliflower, broccoli and Brussels sprouts.

Use dry leaves and pieces of bark as mulch around your plants – it keeps the soil moist.

(Abrie Burger, Rapport Beleef, 22 January 2017).